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Inspirations: RA Schools students on their artistic heroes

Published 12 December 2014

As RA Schools students prepare to show their own work midway through their course in ‘Premiums’, some of the students select artists who inspire them.

  • Nairy Baghramian, selected by Kira Freije

    “I was blown away when I first saw Baghramian’s work in 2009 at London’s Studio Voltaire (pictured). There is something about her sculptures that stop me – they have a presence that truly affects the spaces they inhabit. They are an art that I want to be part of, one that offers a generous mystery, quietly full of associative content.”

    Nairy Baghramian is at the Wattis Institute, San Francisco, until 28 February 2015.

  • 'Butcher, Barber and Angler', 2009, by Nairy Baghramian

    'Butcher, Barber and Angler', 2009, by Nairy Baghramian

    Courtesy Nairy Baghramian and Studio Voltaire / Photo Andy Keate

  • Gilbert & George, selected by Tom Worsfold

    “When I was 16 I saw Tate Modern’s retrospective of Gilbert & George [in 2007] and I have loved them ever since. They often feature themselves – sometimes even with their cocks, piss and shit – in their trademark photo-collages, cut up by frames like stained-glass windows. They remain a provocative presence in contemporary art, offering us innovative takes on the timeless subject of everyday realism.”

  • Raphael Hefti, selected by Wanda Wieser

    “Hefti makes sculptural and photographic works that show a profound engagement with materials and industrial processes. He often works closely with factory craftspeople, finding new approaches that embrace experimentation within the creation process in an unusual and innovative way. His sculptures made from huge panes of museum glass (pictured) – disrupting their original function of invisibility and turning them into distinctively coloured objects – mirror their surroundings, often mesmerisingly.”

    Raphael Hefti will show at Nottingham Contemporary until 4 Jan 2015.

  • Sculpture by Raphael Hefti from the series ‘Subtraction as Addition’, 2012

    Sculpture by Raphael Hefti from the series ‘Subtraction as Addition’, 2012

    © Raphael Hefti. Courtesy Ancient & Modern, London

  • Sung Hwan Kim, selected by Molly Palmer

    “I first encountered Kim’s work in From the Commanding Heights (2007) – a film in which a woman discovers a family of snakes living in her throat. She bites off their heads but their bodies remain lodged inside her unusually long neck. Kim’s stories unfold like parables, beginning with everyday situations that gradually reveal sinister undercurrents. His installations (pictured) use sculptural forms to frame the films, and his mesmeric soundtracks (made with the musician Dogr) heighten the ambiguity of their narratives.”

  • Installation view of work by Sung Hwan Kim, in The Tanks, Tate Modern, 2012

    Installation view of work by Sung Hwan Kim, in The Tanks, Tate Modern, 2012

    Photo © Tate, London 2012 / Photographer Sam Irons, Courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London

  • Josh Kline, selected by Elliot Dodd

    “Kline creates artworks that utilise bodily fluids, pharmaceutical drugs and energy drinks alongside 3D-computer rendering and printing. He forms concoctions of breath fresheners and chemical stimulants in cafetières, and dope bags containing his own blood and anti-depressants. Hands and feet are scanned and 3D-printed, with shoes or objects relating to the profession of their owners welded on to them.”

    Josh Kline is in Till the Stars turn Cold at S1 Artspace, Sheffield, until 6 December, then at Glasgow Sculpture Studios from 24 January until 14 March 2015.

  • Richard Mosse, selected by Alana Francis

    “Vivid hues of pink and purple fill Mosse’s images of conflict. A photographer and filmmaker, he creates representations of war using an infrared camera. Particularly memorable was his immersive installation The Enclave (2013, pictured), which was filmed in the Congo. I sat on the floor watching for an hour as he combined truth with fiction, painting haunting images that have stayed with me ever since.”

    Richard Mosse: The Enclave is at DHC/ART, Montreal until 8 Feb 2015, then at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark from 6 February until 25 May 2015.

  • Still from 'The Enclave', 2013, by Richard Mosse

    Still from 'The Enclave', 2013, by Richard Mosse

    © Richard Mosse. Courtesy Edel Assanti.

  • Andrew Munks, selected by Jack Killick

    “It is hard to reduce Munks’s extremely complex and expansive practice to five words but if I did I would describe it as being about fishing, bird- watching, MC-ing, class and gentrification. Also, if you want to find somebody who sews tiny bonnets for the fish that he catches then sets free back into the wild, so that he can photograph them underwater in their new outfits, then he’s your man. In collaboration with the artist Sophie Michael, he runs the gallery space Watch It in South Woodford, East London.”

  • Mika Rottenberg, selected by Gery Georgieva

    “The absurd, sensual worlds which Rottenberg constructs – with their ramshackle factories, creaking and dripping alongside elaborate rituals enacted by female workers (pictured) – are as captivating as they are grotesque. I love her back-yard pop aesthetic and her exaggerated use of sound. Her work seamlessly condenses the multiple levels of scale that the body operates within – from the basic biological activities of movement, growth and sweat to its function in systems of production and consumption.”

    Mika Rottenberg takes part in the Taipei Biennial at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum until 4 January 2015.

  • Wolfgang Tillmans RA, selected by Anna Paterson

    “Tillmans’s work is rooted in photography and the subsequent means through which his images are printed, ordered and displayed (pictured). I fondly remember a talk he gave at the Slade about three years ago, particularly a point he made about the importance of acknowledging and acting on certain ideas that recur in your mind, however insubstantial they might seem at first.”

    Wolfgang Tillmans takes part in They Used to Call it the Moon at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, until 11 January 2015.

  • 'Lighter 84', 2010, by Wolfgang Tillmans RA

    'Lighter 84', 2010, by Wolfgang Tillmans RA

    © Wolfgang Tillmans RA / Courtesy Maureen Paley